Posted on 08:45:00 on 13th May 2019
Eden cadets, with cadet leaders, are this week launching a suicide prevention banner across Cumbria during Mental Health Awareness Week. The initiative, which was created by Eden cadets, has been months in the planning and was funded by Cumbria Youth Alliance.
Their project has been so well received that two prominent businesses in Cumbria are backing the banners by display them on site, and the Cadets hard work has been recognised with a Citizens in Policing award for, Cadets Group of the Year.
The cadets (aged 13-18 years), were tasked to create a project and independently decided on mental health, collaboratively developing the idea of a suicide prevention banner.
The banner features positive personal messages from the cadets including, ‘Nobody is better off without you’, ‘it’s ok, not to be ok’ and ‘suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem’. It also features numbers for three charities: ChildLine, Samaritans and PAPYRUS.
Cadet, Abigail Garvey, said:
“We wanted to create something that could make a difference to our community. These banners are eye catching and will be in places where they can be seen by lots of people.
“We wanted to get people talking, which is why we wrote ‘Suicide’ in such large letters to grab attention and we wanted to let people know that there is always someone who they can talk to.
“There is such a taboo around this subject, but stress in young people and older generations is increasing, we therefore need to end the taboo.
“Continuing to find ways to raising awareness is also so important, before this project I wouldn’t have known what numbers to call if I found myself in need of support for mental health, I hope our banners will make those numbers known to everyone.
If this banner save even one life, that would be a huge success, and we will have achieved aim of making a difference.
Eden Cadet Leader, Sergeant Tamara Tatton said;
“I couldn’t be prouder of the cadets, they have truly excelled in this project from start to finish. The results speak for themselves.
They wanted to create a suicide prevention message that meant something to them, and that would also be a conversation starter for people of any age, across any community.
“Keeping feelings to yourself when your mental health is suffering is never a good option. We encourage the cadets to talk about their mental health openly, as they would if they broke a leg. The more people discussing mental health, like physical health, openly and honestly then we can start to remove any stigma and create positive change.”
Joanne Fidler, Cadet Leader and Command and Control Room Trainer said;
“This project was created and driven by the cadets, they designed the banners themselves and all the content comes from their research and positive messages they wanted to share.
“I am so proud of all their hard work, the results are outstanding and they truly deserved to have been awarded, Cadets Group of the Year.”
Juliet Gray, suicide prevention trainer, funded by Public Health.
“My job is to train people regarding suicide prevention and I joined the project to support the cadets.
“What struck me when working with the cadets, was the main message they wanted to get across, a message of hope, and that message is so important.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said;
“Mental health is such a big issue for society, it affects people right across the country and that is no different here in Cumbria.
“The police often deal with people in crisis, including suicide. That is why it is really important that our cadets have been getting engaged with this subject and came up with this remarkable project to promote the idea that there is help available and the poignant message of hope.
“With the support of local businesses like Sellafield and BAE, as well as other partners, I hope that these banners will soon feature everywhere, right-across Cumbria. If we can end the taboo on the subject of mental health we can get people talking and better helping each other.”